CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 34,226,820 and the nation’s death toll stands at 609,862, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 yesterday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6. Health officials blame the highly-contagious Delta variant and slowing vaccination rates. Just 56.2 percent of Americans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
REPUBLICANS OFF JAN. 6 ATTACK INVESTIGATION… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recommendations for the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, prompting McCarthy to pull all of his Republican nominees. The two rejected recommendations, Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana and Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, both voted to overturn the election results. Pelosi said their appointments could impact “the integrity of the investigation.”
SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCK INFRASTRUCTURE BILL… Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a procedural vote that would have advanced the nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, claiming negotiators are still ironing out the details. GOP leaders had warned that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s effort to open debate on the measure was too soon. 49 Republicans voted against the bill but it has the support of others.
POLICY KEEPS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, WHITE HOUSE SEPARATE… A new Justice Department policy was enacted to ensure to emphasize that it operates independently from the White House. According to a memo released yesterday, the police creates stricter guidelines to keep the White House from being apprised of the DOJ’s criminal investigations or civil legal actions, with only a few exceptions. The guidelines cover any communication between the White House and Justice Department, outlining which officials in the White House are to communicate with each other for instances including requests for formal legal opinions, Supreme Court appeals, legislation, budgets, political appointments and pardons.
JUDGES SIDE AGINST RESTRICTIVE TRANS LAWS… Federal judges yesterday blocked two recently passed laws restricting trans teens’ access to healthcare and sports. Arkansas’ HB 1570 would have banned transition care for trans minors, prohibited doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, and stopped doctors referring young people to other providers for the treatment. Another federal court temporarily blocked West Virginia’s HB 3293, which would ban all transgender athletes in middle school, high school and college from women’s sports across the state.
MICHAELA COEL JOINS ‘WAKANDA’… Michaela Coel has joined the cast of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The sequel to the 2018 hit Marvel superhero movie began production last month in Atlanta. The film is set to be released July 8, 2022. Coel wrote, produced, directed, and starred in last year’s HBO Max series “I May Destroy You.”
KENNEDY CENTER AWARDS NOMINEES NAMED… Entertainer Bette Midler, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, Motown titan Berry Gordy and “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels were named 44th Kennedy Center Honor recipients yesterday. Also slated to be recognized for their career achievements are opera great Justino Diaz. The honorees will be the focus of a celebration in December that will be filmed and will air as a 2-hour special on CBS and Paramount+.
San Diego 3 – ATLANTA 2 (7 innings)… Chris Paddack (6-6) pitched three-hit ball over six scoreless innings and the Padres edged the Braves in the doubleheader opener. Fernando Tatis, Jr., homered with a runner aboard in the top of the fifth inning.
San Diego – ATLANTA (susp.)… Rain in Atlanta forced suspension of the second game of a doubleheader between the Padres and Braves. The game will resume on an undetermined date with San Diego holding a 5-4 lead after five innings.
N.Y. Mets 7 – CINCINNATI 0… Marcus Stroman (7-8) limited the Reds to one hit over eight innings and reliever Jeurys Familia completed the shutout. Domonic Smith unloaded a grand slam. Jonathan Villa and Luis Guillorme also went deep.
ARIZONA 6 – Pittsburgh 4… Pavin Smith and Daulton Varsho smacked back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a tie and the Diamondbacks held off the Pirates. Nick Ahmed went 3-for-4 with an RBI double.
Miami 3 – WASHINGTON 1 (10 innings)… Jorge Alfaro doubled home a tie-breaking run in the top of the 10th inning and Miguel Rojas followed with a sacrifice fly as the Marlins outlasted the Nationals.
ST. LOUIS 3 – Chi. Cubs 2 (10 innings)… Yadier Molina singled home Paul Goldschmidt with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Harrison Bader doubled home a run and scored on Dylan Carlson’s double in the seventh.
San Francisco 4 – L.A. DODGERS 2… Wilmer Flores hit a two-run homer and Curt Casali drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth inning to rally the Giants past the Dodgers. Mike Yastrzemski homered in the first for San Francisco, which increased its lead over L.A. to two games atop the NL West.
TAMPA BAY 5 – Baltimore 4… Austin Meadows’ connected for a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Rays past the Orioles. Randy Arozarena hit a pair of solo homers.
Boston 7 – TORONTO 4… Kiké Hernandez hit a two-run homer and the Red Sox got solo shots from Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis, J.D. Martinez and Hunter Renfroe in the win over the Blue Jays.
DETROIT 4 – Texas 2… Tigers starter Matt Manning (2-3) held the Rangers to one earned run on four hits over six innings. Zack Short hit a two-run homer. Robbie Grossman and Akil Baddoo added solo blasts.
Cleveland 5 – HOUSTON 4… Cesar Hernandez hit a tie-breaking solo homer in the top of the seventh inning and the Indians hung on to top the Astros. Hernandez opened the scoring with an RBI double in the third. Ernie Clement doubled home two runs in the sixth.
Minnesota 7 – CHI. WHITE SOX 2… Josh Donaldson’s two-run single in the top of the fifth inning broke a tie and Jorge Polanco belted a three-run homer in the sixth as the Twins put away the White Sox. Max Kepler opened the scoring with a third-inning homer.
Kansas City 6 – MILWAUKEE 3… Hunter Dozier produced a pair of run-scoring singles and Nicky Lopez lined a two-run double as the Royals doubled up on the Brewers. Jorge Soler homered with the bases empty.
COLORADO 6 – Seattle 3… Dom Nunez stroked a bases-clearing double during a five-run bottom of the first inning and the Rockies cruised past the Mariners. Austin Gomber (7-5) allowed three runs on three hits over six innings.
N.Y. YANKEES 6 – Philadelphia 5… Ryan LaMarre singled home Gary Sanchez in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Yankees over the Phillies. Rouged Odor homered with a runner aboard and Gleyber Torres added a solo shot for New York.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Atlanta (Charlie Morton, 6-3) is at Philadelphia (Matt Moore, 0-1)…
Miami (TBA) hosts San Diego (Blake Snell, 3-3)…
the Chi. Cubs (Adbert Alzolay, 4-9) are at St. Louis (Kwang Hyun Kim, 5-5)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 10-1) host San Francisco (Anthony DeSclafani, 10-4)
Texas (Mike Foltynewicz, 2-9) is at Detroit (Tyler Alexander, 1-1)…
Boston (Tanner Houck, 0-2) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery, 3-5)…
Tampa Bay (Luis Patino, 1-2) is at Cleveland (Cal Quantrill, 2-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 4-3) hosts the L.A. Angels (Andrew Heaney, 5-7)…
Oakland (Sean Manaea, 6-6) is at Seattle (Chris Flexen, 9-3)